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Carrnegie Watches came onto the scene in October 2016 – I was very intrigued by the watch; it’s certainly different to the norm due to the case design, but in today’s market that is welcome. It’s also very reasonably priced: $186 / £147 using code WIAACW. Some important boxes are getting big fat ticks here, so let’s take a closer look.

Video Review

The specs

The case

The case is quite fascinating, I’ve been rather curious about it whilst I’ve had the watch in for review. At certain angles, it catches the light really well thanks to the multi-stepped sides and variety of finishes.

The bezel is polished, with brushed sides. The top and bottom shoulders have a polished line and I like how the tops of the pigs have a vertical brush, drawing the eye to the dial. It also has a brushed caseback, with a polished ring around the edge.

The single-domed sapphire crystal has a measure of distortion at tight angles, the anti-reflective coating is fairly standard, nothing special.

What I’ve found to be the most intriguing part about the Carrnegie is the lugs. Rather than a lug either side, it’s an entire container that the end of the strap fits into. The 21mm width is a bit annoying (normal sizes are 20mm or 22mm wide, but really it’s not the end of the world. The lug block is also drilled-through with holes on the sides so it’s easy to change straps (thankfully, as that would have been a nightmare).

The push-pull crown has the double R logo embossed on the end, which is a very petite onion shape with a delightful design to it. For something so small the grip is like a mini work of art.

The caseback has the Carrnegie logo in the centre, with details surrounding it towards the edge. All markings are accurately and deeply engraved.

The dial

The dial is simple, elegant. The movement layout does some of the work – providing the subdials at 3 (date), 6 (24 hour) and 9 (day).

The backdrop is a classy off-white champagne colour, with a very gentle texture.

The subdials boast a genteel concentric circular pattern as the backing, as well as a very light channel around the outer edge.

The hour and seconds hands are dauphine style, which are pitched and fully polished rose gold, subsequently catching the light well.

I love it when I see impressive hour markers, and they sure are splendid on the Carrnegie: thick, accurately manufactured rose gold batons with a polished finish and tapered bottom. There’s a double baton at 12 to set it apart.

The printwork on the dial is fine and minimal and is the result of good design. The logo is printed at 12 and looks perfectly in place, and apart from the markings on the subdials, the only other printing is the minute track around the outer edge, framing the dial.

The strap

The quality of the leather is as I’d expect: nothing to be blown away by, but perfectly suitable for the price.

Alligator print is never my personal preference, but at least it’s slightly more subtle than is usually the case. The finish of the leather is also a pleasant matte, which I much prefer to a glossy patent finish; which usually looks too much. The finish compliments the rose gold case really well.

This strap has been fitted with the optional butterfly clasp, which is £25 extra, and is quite chunky when compares to other similar clasps. It has a brushed top which is the sensible choice (I see so may polished clasps which scratch immediately), with the logo deeply engraved.

The movement

The movement powering the Carrnegie is the SII (Seiko) VH63. It has 2 jewels and a 3-year battery life and the main characteristics are the subdials: day at 9, date at 3, and 24-hour indicator at 6. It’s a Seiko quartz, so it’s likely to perform solidly for a decent amount of time. It’s also a “mecha-quartz”, where the centre “big” second hand moves in 1/4 second increments, resembling a mechanical movement.

Final comments

$186 / £147 (using code WIAACW) is a really great price for this watch. It’s been a “grower” – whilst I wasn’t initially blown away by it, I’ve gradually grown in appreciation for the small nuances of design and level of craftsmanship that’s truly surprising on a watch costing this much. True, the design is not likely to excite everybody, but I can’t find a single fault with how it’s built, and it’s great to see something done a little different in terms of the case and lugs. In a market which is saturated with watches that all look similar with little individuality, Carrnegie have really pushed the boat out.


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View comments 2


  1. Robert Whyre

    Final someone has done something new in the endless progression of look alike Kickstarter watches. Congratulations to Carnegie. Box lugs like their occur often throughout the 40s, 50s and 60s and then faded from the scene. They have the disadvantages of weakness. The spring bars can quickly enlarge the holes in the (comparatively) thin sides of the case. Lugs, being much thicker, do not have that problem.

    1. Joshua Clare-Flagg

      Thank you for your comment! I agree that it’s nice to see something different. Interesting about the weakness of box lugs, thanks for sharing.

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